stock-in-trade


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stock-in-trade

1. The goods or equipment that a particular professional, company, industry, profession, etc., uses or deals in for business. You should talk to Sarah if you're looking to buy a new laptop—computers are her stock-in-trade, after all. Art supplies are my stock-in-trade, so I know just about all there is to know about paint.
2. By extension, the traits, characteristics, or behaviors that typify or are readily called upon by a particular person or thing. Witty humor has always been his stock-in-trade. A good imagination is the stock-in-trade of any good writer.

stock in trade

whatever goods, skills, etc., are necessary to undertake an activity of some kind. Of course I am glad to help. Packing household goods is my stock in trade.
See also: stock, trade

stock in trade

One’s capabilities and resources. This cliché transfers the original meaning of the phrase—that is, the goods for sale kept by a dealer, or the tools kept by a workman—to more personal attributes. Thomas de Quincey used it in Cicero (1842): “Such charges were the standing material, the stock in trade of every orator.”
See also: stock, trade